Louis Ritman (American, 1889-1963)
    Oil on canvas
    36 x 29 inches (91.4 x 73.7 cm)
    Signed and titled on exhibition label affixed to the backing board: Interior / Louis Ritman

    [With]The Closson Art Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio;
    John Uri Lloyd, Cincinnati, Ohio;
    By descent to the present owners.

    Cincinnati Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio, "19th Annual Exhibition of American Art," May 25-July 27, 1912.

    Cincinnati Museum, Nineteenth Annual Exhibition of American Art, exhibition catalogue, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1912, p. 14, no. 103.

    Louis Ritman ranks among esteemed Impressionists Childe Hassam, Frederick Frieseke and Richard Miller, and Interior is emblematic of the artist's unique brand of American Impressionism. His impasto application of paint and sumptuous use of color create a sense of the movement of light on the sitter's figure, and on the immediacy of the moment, a solitary woman caught in inward reflection. This subject was a recurring one in Ritman's work. David Dearinger remarks: "by 1912, he was painting what quickly became his characteristic subject matter: a young woman, sometimes nude, seated or reclining in an interior or out-of-doors (Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfeil Collection, Alexandria, Virginia, 1992, p. 222)."

    The subtlety of Ritman's approach to light and color is evident in Interior. His palette is softened, not as keyed-up as some of his American contemporaries in Giverny, who preferred to emulate the ebullient canvases of Claude Monet. The greens and golds that depict this intimate moment are gentler than the excited reds and oranges of, for example, Frieseke's garden pictures, or even Ritman's own flower pictures, resulting in an overall sense of soft ethereality.

    Ritman's subdued depiction of a solitary moment underscores his affection for "the depiction of an attractive young female in an intimate setting," (R.H. Love, Louis Ritman: From Chicago to Giverny, Chicago, Illinois, 1989, p. 154) pioneered by Dutch artists like Vermeer and adopted by American Impressionists, among others. The American version, Ritman's version of intimism, "was...quiet, reserved, and above all, discreet, never outside the parameters of the genteel tradition." (Louis Ritman: From Chicago to Giverny, p. 155) The woman's downward gaze and placid posture relate directly to the introspection and restfulness of an intimate moment, away from the increasingly bustling modern world of early-1900s Paris.

    Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Unlined canvas; surface grime; pinholes with tiny flakes of loss in corners, inherent to work; under UV light, there appears to be no inpaint. Framed Dimensions 45 X 37.5 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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